MANY people who voted ‘leave’ in the referendum did so because they think immigration is too high and the numbers allowed into our country should be cut. The only way they could think to do it was to vote for Britain to pull up the drawbridge to our near neighbours across the English Channel.

It certainly looks as if they are going to get what they voted for. Fewer EU citizens are registering for National Insurance numbers than before the Brexit vote.

The biggest drop has been in people from the so-called EU 8 countries which include Poland and the Czech Republic.

With the UK economy already feeling the chill wind of Brexit there hardly seems to be a day goes by without another big-name retailer closing shops or employer cutting jobs. So maybe the UK can live without more immigrants?

The truth is rather different.

Employers need foreign labour for all kinds of reasons. The NHS and the education sector depend on them. Nearly one-in-10 nurses in our hospitals is from overseas. It takes up to four years to train a nurse so if all those non-UK born nurses up sticks and go home before next year the NHS will be crippled.

Construction, catering and agriculture face similar problems but at least private companies can pay more to get the right people. Hard-up hospitals, already grappling with a funding gap, can’t.

Now the die is cast it doesn’t matter how you voted in the Brexit referendum. But one thing is certain: we will all suffer the effects if EU nationals leave when the UK walks away from Europe.